What Judas approached with a mob to arrest Christ in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said "whom seek ye?" Being told, "Jesus of Nazereth," He responded, "I am He" (literally "I am"). And the guards fell backward to the ground. This was but the last of many example of Christ's power. He spoke with power. He lived with power.
The leaders of the Jews no doubt knew that He is God. The service this evening for our Lord's Passion made this clear. The first and longest Gospel reading set the stage for the understanding of all the rest. Jesus is the God of all, come to earth to reveal to us the hidden life of the Holy Trinity, the life of love. Crucified out of love for us, he would later send us the Holy Spirit to lead us in all Truth.
But while obvious to those who wish to see, the Truth is hidden, by their own choice, from those who do not, by their own choice. As the church repeatedly sings, "Judas the transgressor had no wish understand."
The Gospel reading for Pascha will again repeat this truth. "He came to His own, and His own received Him not…" May God grant us to be among those who humbly receive Him, who rejoice in the Truth, and who wish to understand.